Trying to decide on online degree program for Web Development


My name is Benjamin, I am currently employed full time as a Paramedic but have also been freelancing in web design / development since the mid 90’s. I started off in my teens volunteering for America Online as a Community Leader, learning basic HTML and scripting with their proprietary language (RAINMAIN Plus).

Over the years, I have taught myself HTML, CSS, Javascript (although jQuery made me a bit lazzy), PHP (including OOP and MVC frameworks), and MySQL. Every site begins with a blank slate and I never use prepared templates or programs such as Wordpress. I even developed custom CMS solutions for each of my five clients.

It is quite clear that there is no future in my current career for me and I am looking to make a career change to web design & development. Many job listings of interest are looking for a degree in addition to experience and I am hoping that I will become a more well rounded developer if I further my education.

I started out by looking at the BS in Web Design & Development offered by Full Sail University but quickly came to my senses when I looked at their tuition cost and dug into their history. More recently, I have been looking at Southern New Hampshire University, a regionally accredited non-profit, but have been unable to find any reviews specific to their [URL=“”]Web Design & Development BS program.

SNHU’s course details for Web Design & Development list things such as Frames and Image Maps, which makes me a bit nervous. I have been waiting for about two weeks now for an admissions rep to get back to me with more specific details. I want to be sure that material covered in a course is not something that is a decade out of date or something that I already know like the back of my hand.

Do any of you have any experience with SNHU? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

In my experience, web dev is a field that – in general – places little weight on formal education. The last job I landed, for an agency with good pay, I didn’t even bother to mention my college degree. Rather than dropping thousands of dollars over the next two years, I recommend that you just continue applying for jobs.

i appreciate your post Jeff, but its true that you can not maintain your regular studies.You might get a good pay with good reputed company but you should also keep applying for a good job.

I’ve been self-studying web design/development for almost a year now. I read a lot of books, frequent a lot of the design/dev websites (like Smashing Magazine), listen to as many podcasts as I can, and, most importantly I think, I have a subscription to I’ve considered going back to university (I already have an unrelated degree), but the only thing that would make sense is a computer science degree – and that would take forever. So, the best alternative I’ve found is community college certificate programs where they allow you to specialize in specific languages, like Java or Perl. They’re not online but the courses are offered at various times throughout the day. If my only option was online then I would just continue on my own and maybe attend a few confrences.